A company backed by George Soros’s fund will boost its ownership of a leading Polish newspaper publisher to a controlling stake as the country heads into a parliamentary election.
(Bloomberg) — A company backed by George Soros’s fund will boost its ownership of a leading Polish newspaper publisher to a controlling stake as the country heads into a parliamentary election.
Amsterdam-based Pluralis BV, whose shareholders include Soros Economic Development Fund, bought an additional 20% stake in Gremi Media SA from Warsaw-listed KCI giving it 57% ownership of the company, KCI said in a regulatory filing on Friday, without revealing the price.
KCI is an investment vehicle of Polish businessman and film producer Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, who has repeatedly complained about political pressure on the media market. In late 2021, Pluralis agreed to invest in Gremi with an option to purchase an additional stake at a later date.
The deal comes after Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic organization that controls most of the assets in George Soros’s $25 billion family office, decided to end a large part of its operations in the European Union amid a retrenchment under new leadership.
Soros Foundation Cuts EU Funding as Nationalist Groups Surge
Soros has long championed democratic causes in the former communist eastern bloc. Media Development Investment Fund, which lists Soros’s Open Society Foundations among its funders, is also an investor in Pluralis as well as two other media companies in Poland.
The ruling Law & Justice party has been trying to tighten its grip over independent media in Poland as it seeks to stay in power for a third consecutive term in a tightly-contested election scheduled for Oct. 15.
Gremi shares rose 3.7% on Friday, valuing the company at 202 million zloty ($49 million).
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